Epson 3800 with a clogged magenta channel

Andreas S

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I'm using 4 3800 to do tests with our soft and I stated that clocked nozzles in the magenta cartridge wont harm the prints seriously. The reason is that the printer uses light magenta if the coulours you are printing do not exceed 30% of magenta in the composition. But even with 100% magenta sheets (for measuring I have to do stupid things) I've never seen a problem and my printers are more clocked then yours.
If you want to be on the save side just use Gutenprint, a very good open source RIP. There you can set the number of passes up to eg 4 and this will automaticaly resolve any problem with a few clocked nuzzles.
 

Nigel Harris

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Thankyou, both. I'm arriving at the same conclusion, namely to just get on and use it. That's very helpful feedback Andreas, appreciated.

One outstanding question I do have relates to the inkset I should use in the future. I was intending to switch across to some cheaper inks (Lyson, from the UK Marrutt website), however I put on of that on hold when I encountered the nozzle check issue, as I didn't want to change anything whilst I was diagnosing the issue. With all of the fault finding and cleaning I undertook, I now have a full set of refillable cartridges and more syringes that I can shake a stick at, and am now intimately acquainted with the innards of my printer! So, can anyone advise if the Lyson inks are worth the savings offered versus Epson, or are these likely to prove a false economy? Am considering a phased switch over, replacing each ink line on an ad-hoc basis as the Epson inks start to become low.
 

Andreas S

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Am considering a phased switch over, replacing each ink line on an ad-hoc basis as the Epson inks start to become low.
That's not the best idea as this will come up to create à new profile every time you are replacing a line in view to have good ouput. That means that you might loose the savings you made with the ink by "useless" consumption of ink and paper.
The only way to know if the ink of any supplier is close to OEM would be to measure and compare printouts of every channel. And the prints have to be done on the same paper with the same printer…
 

jaygrovr

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Hi guys, I have a 3880 that is having lots of issues with only the lower half of the nozzle check on every color. I originally had the famous issue of the matt black ink leaking, so I had the printer apart. I am wondering if I should run some cleaner through each of the head connections? I have run about 4 power cleans now, and the missing lines seem to be in exactly the same spot, but different for each color. Attached is a scan of the current nozzle check. It doesnt seem to matter what I do, the same result. Any suggestions would be welcome. I am using refillable carts with inkowl ink. I have tried soaking the head with paper towel and windex, but someone mentioned that introduces air into the heads. I have run two power cleans after the soaking (this is days apart).
 

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sanek943

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Next step I removed the ink lines from the dampers, so I could work on the component on the bench.
How did you manage to disconnect the hoses from the damper block without ink drips? As soon as I unscrew the two screws that hold the hose, ink flows out immediately. I admire your work. Everything is very neat.
 

robwignell

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Hi to Nigel and others. I have only recently joined this forum but had similar experience with an Epson 3800 that I bought after it had been sitting for a long time. I think that I have visited most of the sites that have been mentioned in this thread but the best advice I was given was to replace the ink dampers because ink tends to solidify inside them if the printer isn't used regularly. The even better advice on how to replace the dampers was to buy the Service Manual and install an assembly which included the case that holds the ink cartridges, the tubes that go to the print head, and the dampers and some electrics that attach to the print head.

In Australia I found a company that sold Epson Parts. They emailed me a parts document for the 3800 (see attached) so that I could order the part I needed. The part for the Epson 3800 in this document is 511. I think that I paid about A$200 for it.

If you have already replaced the dampers in the head assembly, you will find this process much easier and you won't need to worry about the setting for the MK and PK inks. I wasn't successful at changing dampers but doing the whole assembly gave me a practically new printer.

In subsequent reading I have discovered that Epson recommends that this assembly be replaced every two years on a printer being used in an industrial setting. For an amateur photographer like myself who prints in occasional bursts, there is the constant risk of printer ink settling in lines and dampers and creating blockages. I suspect that many printers get trashed because the dampers are clogged.

On the issue of using third party inks, I put a set of Piezography inks from ConeColor in my 3800. They print very nicely but I don't use them as often as I intended.

I also have a 3880 in which I use a set of Precision Colors ink. I make my own printer profiles and the Precision Colors ink produces ICC profiles with a gamut volume similar in size to OEM ink (https://precisioncolors.com). They no longer ship to Australia but continue to ship to Canada and USA. I haven't explored a third party shipping option.

A few years ago I was given a dead Epson 7880. It had been sitting unused for about 7 years. To get it going I needed a set of cheap ink and bought some InkTec ink through eBay. Dampers on the 7880 can be replaced individually and 7 of the 8 channels worked almost immediately. The VM channel wouldn't print despite an initial fill process and a couple of deep cleans. I was finally able to get the VM channel working by disconnecting both ends of the VM ink line and syringing hot water into the tube. This dislodged about 30 cm of almost solid ink from the ink line, after which the 7880 has worked well ever since.

I used the 7880 to teach myself about making printer profiles. My conclusion was that I got smaller gamut volumes from the InkTec profiles than I had with the 3880 and Precision Color Inks. Looking for improvements, I bought a set of more expensive ConeColor pigment inks but the gamut volumes of the profiles I produced using the same processes and equipment were consistently lower than both Precison Colors and InkTec. I have recently changed the 7880 over to Marrutt ink but haven't yet produced any printer profiles. However, using generic Marrutt profiles I have been pleased with the printing results.

A comment in defence of ConeColor and InkTec is that gamut volume isn't a definitive measure of how good the ink and ink colour is. I have been able to produce images that have been very satisfying to me and to occasional clients using all three inks.

An advantage of Marrutt inks is that they will build you a printer profile for your ink and paper combination. They sell a range of papers and I can recommend their Ultra Pearlescent High White which I have used with the Precision Colors ink set.
 

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Dae

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Thankyou, both. I'm arriving at the same conclusion, namely to just get on and use it. That's very helpful feedback Andreas, appreciated.

One outstanding question I do have relates to the inkset I should use in the future. I was intending to switch across to some cheaper inks (Lyson, from the UK Marrutt website), however I put on of that on hold when I encountered the nozzle check issue, as I didn't want to change anything whilst I was diagnosing the issue. With all of the fault finding and cleaning I undertook, I now have a full set of refillable cartridges and more syringes that I can shake a stick at, and am now intimately acquainted with the innards of my printer! So, can anyone advise if the Lyson inks are worth the savings offered versus Epson, or are these likely to prove a false economy? Am considering a phased switch over, replacing each ink line on an ad-hoc basis as the Epson inks start to become low.
How have things been working out with your 3880.

Been meaning to follow up but 2020 was one of the busiest years for our print shop.
 

Bill Hirst

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Following this long and intricate thread was intriguing and I admire your patient resolve. I hope it came together in the end.
 
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